About 300 million people across the world suffer from thyroid gland dysfunction. Environmental factors play an important role in causation of autoimmune thyroid diseases in susceptible individuals. Genetics contributes to 70% of the risk. In order to reduce the risk, we need to understand the association of environmental agents with thyroid dysfunction. These factors are especially relevant for those at increased risk due to positive family history. The ideal study to see the impact of a thyroid toxicant consists of directly measuring the degree of exposure to toxicant in an individual with his thyroid status. Knowledge of various factors influencing thyroid dysfunction can help in interpreting the results of such studies in a better way. This article is an attempt to highlight the various possible toxicants affecting thyroid function so that adequate measures can be undertaken to control excessive exposure in future to reduce the prevalence of thyroid disorders.
Keywords: Goiter; Hypothyroidism; Thyroid; Thyroid disorders.